Episode 68. Margaret Marshall, Songbird

Episode 68. Margaret Marshall, Songbird



Welcome to 2021 chez Countermelody! Today’s episode is a birthday tribute to the splendid Scottish soprano Margaret Marshall, who was born on 4 January. Since she burst upon the scene in the late 1970s, she has been a favorite of lovers of great singing. Her timbre, artistry, and technical facility evoke comparisons with many treasured singers of the past. Though she retired from public performance in 2005, this past year, in tandem with her daughter Nicola and a group of dedicated supporters, she launched a website called Songbird, which focuses on the early years of her career, and which features many rare soundclips, both live and studio, from that period, many of which have been assembled into a new downloadable release entitled “Margaret Marshall Songbird.” Today’s episode features a wide range of her live and studio recordings, including a few samples from the Songbird release. Included are works by Galuppi, Pergolesi, Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Salieri, Gluck, Elgar, Finzi, Richard Strauss, and Alban Berg in recordings and performances between 1975 and 1990, with collaborators including conductors Neville Marriner, Riccardo Muti, John Eliot Gardiner, Vittorio Negri, Charles Groves, Antal Doráti, Philip Ledger, and Rafael Kubelik and fellow singers Ann Murray, Francisco Araiza, Alfreda Hodgson, Felicity Palmer, and Sesto Bruscantini. Compiling this episode has provided my ears and spirit with many blissful hours; I wish my listeners the same experience! Many thanks to both Margaret and Nicola for providing advice and guidance in the selection of today’s material, and many happy returns to the “Scottish supersoprano”!

Link to the Margaret Marshall Songbird website: www.margaretmarshallsongbird.com

The Songbird logo on Margaret’s website,
which is the design of her granddaughter Maddie.


Hugo Wolf (1860-1904)

Hugo Wolf: Zum neuen Jahr (Mörike-Lieder, No. 27). Brigitte Fassbaender, Jean-Yves Thibaudet [1993]

Hans Hotter (1909-2003)

Hugo Wolf: Gebet (Mörike-Lieder, No. 28). Hans Hotter, Hans Dokoupil [1968]

Alban Berg (1885-1935)

Alban Berg: Schilflied (Sieben frühe Lieder, No. 2). Margaret Marshall; Geoffrey Parsons [1985]

Baldassare Galuppi: Alleluia (Rapida cerva). Margaret Marshall; Rudolf Ewerhart, Die Deutsche Bachsolisten [1976]

Margaret’s first studio recording (1976)
Hans Thamm (1921-2007)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Letzte Stunde, brich heran (Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubiliert, BWV 31). Margaret Marshall; Hans Thamm, Collegium Musicum des WDR [1975]

Vittorio Negri (1923-1998)

Antonio Vivaldi: Canta in prato (Introduzione al Dixit, RV 636). Margaret Marshall; Vittorio Negri, English Chamber Orchestra [1976]

Antonio Vivaldi: De torrente in via (Dixit Dominus, RV 594). Margaret Marshall; Vittorio Negri, English Chamber Orchestra [1976]

Felicity Palmer

George Frideric Handel: De torrente in via (Dixit Dominus, HWV 232). Margaret Marshall, Felicity Palmer; John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Orchestra and Choir

Zubin Mehta (born 1936)

George Frideric Handel: How beautiful are the feet (Messiah, HWV 56). Margaret Marshall; Zubin Mehta, Berliner Philharmoniker [live 12 December 1981]

Philip Ledger (1937-2012)

George Frideric Handel: Ah, lovely youth! (Saul, HWV 53). Margaret Marshall (Michal); Philip Ledger, English Chamber Orchestra [1981]

Neville Marriner (1924-2016)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Exsultate, jubilate (Exsultate, jubilate, KV 165). Margaret Marshall; Neville Marriner, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart [1987]

Ralf Weikert (born 1940)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Non temer, amato bene, KV 490. Margaret Marshall; Ralf Weikert, Mozarteum-Orchester Salzburg [live 1983]

Johann Sebastian Bach: Jesu, deine Gnadenblicke (Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV 11). Margaret Marshall; Philip Ledger, English Chamber Orchestra [1981]

This was the first Margaret Marshall record I ever purchased (back when it was first issued!)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Et incarnatus est (Mass in c minor, K. 427). Margaret Marshall; Neville Marriner, Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields [1979]

Riccardo Muti (born 1941)

Christoph Willibald Gluck: Avvezza al contento… Che fiero momento (Orfeo ed Euridice). Margaret Marshall (Euridice); Riccardo Muti, Philharmonia Orchestra [1981]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Soave sia il vento (Così fan tutte). Margaret Marshall (Fiordiligi), Ann Murray (Dorabella), Sesto Bruscantini (Don Alfonso); Riccardo Muti, Wiener Philharmoniker [live Salzburg 1983]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Volgi a me pietoso il ciglio (Così fan tutte). Margaret Marshall (Fiordiligi), Francisco Araiza (Ferrando); Riccardo Muti, Wiener Philharmoniker [live Salzburg 1983]

Alfreda Hodgson

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Amen (Stabat Mater). Margaret Marshall, Alfreda Hodgson; Günter Kehr, Mainzer Kammerorchester [1978]

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956)

Gerald Finzi: Intrada (Dies Natalis, Op. 8). Günter Kehr, Mainzer Kammerorchester [1979]

Günter Kehr (1920-1989)

Gerald Finzi: Wonder. Arioso (Dies Natalis, Op. 8). Margaret Marshall; Günter Kehr, Mainzer Kammerorchester [1979]

Charles Groves (1915-1992)

Edward Elgar: Woe to the shepherds of the flock! (The Light of Life). Margaret Marshall (The Mother); Charles Groves, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Choir [1980]

Antal Doráti (1906-1988)

Joseph Haydn: Ad acquistar già volo (L’incontro improvviso). Margaret Marshall (Balkis); Antal Doráti, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne [1980]

Rafael Kubelík (1914-1996)

Joseph Haydn: Nun beut die Flur (Die Schöpfung, Hob.XXI:2). Margaret Marshall (Gabriel); Rafael Kubelík, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks [1987]

Gianluigi Gelmetti (born 1945)

Antonio Salieri: Où suis-je… Foudre céleste! Je t’appelle! (Les Danaïdes). Margaret Marshall (Hypermnestre); Gianluigi Gelmetti, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgaart [1990]

Geoffrey Parsons (1929-1995)

Alban Berg: An Leukon. Margaret Marshall; Geoffrey Parsons [1985]

Alban Berg

Alban Berg: Schließe mir die Augen beide [Second version, 1925]. Margaret Marshall; Geoffrey Parsons [1985]

Richard Strauss: Schlagende Herzen, Op. 29/2. Margaret Marshall; John Fraser [live Wigmore Hall 1976]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Alleluia (Exsultate, jubilate, KV 165). Margaret Marshall; Neville Marriner, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart [1987]

2 thoughts on “Episode 68. Margaret Marshall, Songbird”

    1. You’re so welcome; and thank you for your note! Hope you’ll check out some of the other episodes as well. Cheers, Daniel

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